About HARU

We provide assistance toward the reconstruction of Tohoku district, devastated by the quake and the following Tsunami on March 11, 2011.Many volunteer students of Tohoku University have joined us in this noble cause. Also, HARU have received official recognition from Tohoku University so that we are able to promote volunteer activities to meet community needs. In the future, we are switching our work to the long-term reconstruction with broad range of cooperation.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

UN-Day 2011, Sendai

This is Kaisumi, a member of Public Relations Section of HARU. I participated in UN-Day conference held at Tohoku University, on October 24th.

They had exhibition area for students in 2nd floor of the building, thus we displayed our posters. The conference started at 10:30, with full of people inside the main hall.

   During lunch time, some others and I were helping out spinning participants to UN exhibition area, which was located at one of the innermost parts of the building. They had many displays from UN related organizations for example WFP and UNICEF. They displayed about their activities and those related to the East Coast Earthquake reconstruction supports. One of them which exhibited about children who cannot go schools because of helping out their house works reminded me of the days we had right after the earthquake, when we didn’t have power supply nor water. Fortunately my house weren’t quite affected by either earthquake or tsunami, so we stayed there. My family branched up doing living stuff, carrying heavy water and making meals which took so long.

We spent whole day just to “live.”

Comparing to situation of those who cannot go to schools, ours is nothing. But after that I can understand a bit more of it with reality.

        After lunch time, I could see panel discussion. Topic of the first half was “Work Through with Partnership.” They discussed that the first act is very important on emergency, that each professionals with emergency experience are quite helpful, and that people need to actually go to the place and find out what they need to be helped. Now winter is coming to the affected area, which make people there need more volunteers. They put out message that you cannot hesitate to go volunteering just because it has already been a while.

      The second topic was “To Youth Declaration from ‘Disaster and Volunteering.’”  In the beginning they discussed about role of NPOs and support system between local governments in emergency support. Later on students from Kobe University, from Bukkyo University and from Tohoku University who were from HARU, participated as panelists. In this session they discussed about role of student volunteers. They said that for people in affected area get encouraged to see volunteers coming, because they feel not being left alone.

I understood that individuals may be able to do little, but with whole bunch of individuals sum up together and make progress on reconstruction.

      At the end of the conference, students made “Youth Declaration:”
1. We would like to think about living with nature.
2. We learned we can do something as youth. We want to pass this act on reconstruction to next generation.
3. We are willing to continue on volunteering thinking of the needs of people in affected area.
4. We felt that the whole world have focused on this. We want to keep speaking out of how Tohoku (Japan) is being reborn.